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The Board of Education learned at its August 15 meeting that the Project Adventure course at Newtown High School is set for the new school year.
Physical education teacher Jeremy O’Connell shared the update with the school board, and said that Newtown Public Schools grants specialist Kristin Larson helped reach of the goal of funding the course.
Interim Superintendent of Schools Lorrie Rodrigue also thanked the Sandy Hook School Foundation, the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, and the Fairfield County’s Community Foundation for supporting the project, which she said supports social and emotional learning.
Project Adventure, according to its website, pa.org, is a nonprofit teaching organization that provides adventure-based experimental programming to support life-changing outcomes.
Mr O’Connell said three new adventure courses have been built at NHS for the Project Adventure program, which will be offered this fall: an outdoor pole course is on the building’s grounds, a low-element course is also on the grounds at another spot, and in one of the school’s gyms an indoor area with training and high elements has been installed.
“We have three classes that will be partaking within the next school year,” said Mr O’Connell, adding that he has also heard from a “multitude” of students that were unaware the course was being offered and would have liked to take the course. “In years to come it is going to be filled with about four to five classes per semester.”
Mr O’Connell said the school is focusing on working with freshmen on the low-element course, and for upper classmen Project Adventure is an elective class.
Board of Education member John Vouros shared his excitement for the program being added at the high school.
Mr O’Connell said he is overwhelmed at the idea of finally offering Project Adventure at NHS, after nine years of wanting to bring the program to the school.
“I thank the board and everyone for all of their support in finally getting this through. I’m really looking forward to making this not only a Newtown school activity, but also a Newtown community activity,” said Mr O’Connell.
Project Adventure activities are also offered at Reed Intermediate and Newtown Middle Schools, according to the school district.